Inga

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse/Germanic
(IN-ga)

The name is a feminine form of Inge or Ing, which is an Old Germanic name of uncertain meaning. It was the name of an ancient Germanic god of which very little is known.

In addition to Scandinavia, Inga has experienced prevalent usage in other countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands and Russia.

Currently, Inga is the 341st most popular female name in Germany, (2011).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Inga Инга (Belarusian/Bosnian/Croatian/Dutch/Estonian/Faroese/Georgian/German/Icelandic/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Russian/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Inge (Danish/Dutch)
  • Inia (Danish)
  • Inka (Finnish)
  • Inken (Frisian)
  • Iηgá (Sami)
  • Ingara (Norwegian: archaic)

Inge is rarely ever used as a masculine form and is occasionally used as a female form in Scandinavia, pronounced (IN-ge).

Common male forms are Ingi and Ingo.

In Sweden, Inga’s designated name-day is October 25. In Norway it is December 17 and in the Swedo-Finnish calendar it is June 20.

Inga is also the name of a genus of tropical trees and shrubs.

The name was and is borne by Swedish stage actress and opera singer, Inga Åberg (1773-1837); Swedish actress Inga Tidblad (1901-1975); Swedish actress Inga Landgré (b.1927); American actress Inga Swenson (b. 1932); American femininist author Inga Muscio (b.1966); Russian Olympic Speed-Skater Inga Artamonova (1936-1966); Bosnian-Australian politician Inga  nee Dosen Peulich (b.1964); Australian anthropologist, author and historian Inga Clendinnen (b.1934) and Danish Opera Soprano Singer Inga Nielsen (1946-2008)

Ingobert, Ingbert, Ingo

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “bright Ing.”

Ingobert is composed of the Old Germanic elements Ing which was the name of an obscure Germanic god and beraht meaning “bright.” In Germany the designated name-day is October 22. The name is not very common in German speaking countries these days. Its shortened version of Ingo is far more prevalent. Other sources contend that Ingo has always been an independent name and that it is the masculine counterpart of Inga. Ingo is also the name of a tropical plant. Another form is Ingbert.

Ingrid

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Swedish/Norwegian
Meaning: “beautiful Ing.”
(ING-rid)

When you hear this name you probably think of a golden legend Swedish actresses and tow-headed Scandinavian maidens.

Ingrid is viewed as the quintessential Scandinavian name to most English-speakers, thanks to the fame of Ingrid Bergman.

The name is composed of the Old Norse elements Ing which is derived from the name of a divinity, Ingwaz, an ancient Germanic fertility god. He was an obscure god who was considered the progenitor of the Ingaevones, a Germanic tribe. Though not much is known of him, he seems to have left his mark on many classic Scandinavian names: Ingmar, Ingri, Inga, Inger, Ingela and of course Ingrid to name a few.

The second part of the name is from the Old Norse word fríðr meaning beautiful.

In Sweden and Norway, Ingrid is rather timeless. It has never seemed to have gone out of style and remains in the popularity charts as of last year.

In Sweden, Ingrid was the seventieth most popular female name, while in Norway, she came in even higher, at # 12, tying with her sister names Ingri and Ingerid.

The name has received widespread usage outside of Scandinavia. It is used to a certain extent in German-speaking countries. In Germany she even boasts her own name-day, September 2nd, while in Sweden the name day is a month ahead, October 9.

Ingrid is occasionally used in Eastern Europe, particularly the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Latvia and Lithuania boast their own elaborated form: Ingrida, while in Poland its spelled Ingryda.

In Finland she is Inkeri.

She is occasionally used in France.

Ingrid has gotten plenty of usage in the US, thanks to the large influx of Norwegian and Swedish immigrants at the turn of the century. In 1913, she managed to move her way into the top 1000, coming in at # 934. The highest that Ingrid has ever peaked in the US, however, was in 1967, when she came in at # 381.

It is interesting to note that Ingrid has never dropped out of the US top 1000 since. She currently stands at # 545.

Ingrid seems to have a fond following in the upper midwest, browse through Minnesota and North Dakota birth announcements and I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw at least one Ingrid. Ingrid might be appealing to English speakers who are looking to names like Eleanor and Matilda as inspiration. Strong, yet decidedly feminine names fit for a down to earth medieval queen.